Instead of the common measurement of “grams per watt” weight some growers use to evaluate crop success, a more useful measurement of crop success would be “resin glands per watt.”
The important question for all of us growing marijuana is: How much THC and other cannabinoids do your cannabis plants generate as a percentage of total harvest weight?
And right along with that question is: What can you do to ensure that you’re getting the most cannabinoids from every plant you grow? Here are the best answers:
• Choose marijuana genetics known for high yield and for high resin production and low leaf to calyx ratio. Some marijuana strains will give you more resin glands per bud, and less leaf material.
For example, Hashplant and White Widow strains are known for their frosty appearance and low leaf to calyx ratio. You’re looking for cannabis strains that have leaves and floral tops absolutely coated in resin glands!
Even if you have cannabis genetics known for their exceptional resin production, to the degree that your grow situation deviates from optimum, your plants may struggle to give you their maximum resin output.
The building blocks of optimum growing conditions include ideal temperature, light intensity and PAR (photosynthetically active radiation), C02 augmentation, air movement and ventilation, root zone pH, hydroponics nutrients quality and parts per million, reverse osmosis water and other factors.
You want to use the right nutrients, and pay close attention to adding “extra” P and K during bloom phase, but not so much that it pollutes your buds or causes problems with other nutrient elements your plants need.
If any of these factors are below optimum, your plants lose some of their resin productivity.
• Feed hydroponics base nutrients and supplements specifically designed to boost marijuana weight and resin production.
I’m not talking about “bloom boosters,” although extra P and K do help during bloom phase. I’m talking about hydroponics and natural supplements designed specifically to stimulate cannabinoid production.
At present, the only nutrients manufacturer that explicitly says its nutrients are designed to increase cannabinoid resins is Advanced Nutrients.
The Advanced Nutrients company says it has three main products for stimulating marijuana resin gland production.
One is “Bud Ignitor.” It contains materials that create earlier budding and more budding sites. Another is Connoisseur pH Perfect base nutrients.
With Connoisseur or other pH Perfect hydroponics base nutrients, you get the added benefits of optimized pH without having to use meters and adjustment fluids.
The third is Bud Factor X, which stimulates extra resin production.
As far as I know, these are the only hydroponics products that are described by the manufacturer as being specifically for increasing cannabis resin gland production.
You should also know that Rhino Skin, a hydroponics potassium silicate supplement, boosts the formation and strength of resin glands. It also offers internal and external protection against biting insects.
• Bud monitoring and harvest timing are important. Your resin glands have a peak bloom and healthiest, large-size period that occurs during peak flowering. Your goal is to time your harvest so your resin glands are at maximum size and resin freshness.
• Using hydroponics grow lights that generate UV-B light wavelength spurs extra resin production. Ask your hydroponics store experts about HID bulbs, LED units, and UV-B lighting designed to generate light in the UV-B spectrum.
One of the main benefits that some claim for LEDs is that they can be tuned to deliver the UV-B spectrum. Always be cautious when buying LED lighting for marijuana (find out more about LED marijuana lighting here).
Also know that ensuring maximum penetration of adequate light intensity levels is a way to fuel THC and other cannabinoid production.
Any parts of your buds that don’t receive direct PAR-rich light are losing photosynthesis and cannabinoid production potential.
No matter how well you treat and feed your marijuana plants, you won’t make them do better than their genetic potential allows…so strain selection is very important.
To research strains, take a look at photos of marijuana strains you’re interested in, talk to breeders, and look at finished buds from other growers or marijuana dispensaries.
When you see dense candy-like buds covered in frosty cannabinoid crystals, this indicates the strain had the genetic tendency to produce lots of resins…and that the grower was professional in growing, drying, and curing the buds.
Also realize that old school techniques, such as “stressing” your marijuana plants during bloom phase (using heat, water deprivation, nutrients deprivation, etc.), aren’t useful.
When you use the techniques and materials described in this article, you get the highest resin gland percentages from your marijuana plants, which means more THC and other cannabinoids.